Fred Tyler

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since Jan 04, 2015
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Showed up for a PDC at Wheaton Labs and decided to stick around. He's now planning to build a passive solar/hobbity wofati on a deep roots plot at Wheaton Labs.
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Wheaton Labs, MT and Tularosa, NM
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Recent posts by Fred Tyler

To me, it doesn't make sense to cut out the whole photosynthesising stalk (just because it has berries) to help the plant put more energy into the root. Instead you can just remove the berries.

When the berries are just starting to form, you can strip them off pretty easily. Just run your hand up the plant from the base to the tip. Grasping tight enough that the berries won't pass through,  but not tight enough to pull all the leaves off.

Of course,  in permaculture,  the problem is the solution. If you have too many berries to plant in your own garden you can try selling the seeds to other people that want asparagus. You can gift or trade them with friends. Plant them somewhere you want to forage "wild" asparagus.

I think the spears from female plants taste just fine.

If you are determined to grow only male plants, just offer your female plants for free on Craigslist or whatever your local marketplace is. People will happily dig those plants up for you...saving you the work. If they are doing this when the plants are not dormant,  have them cut off about 80 or 90 percent of the foliage so the plant will survive the shock of being moved.
1 week ago
I have a pecan shaking business in New Mexico.  Most of my customers that have pruned their trees because of height concerns have ended up with...dead trees. They don't want to be short, so it requires constant pruning. All of those cuts are an entry point for pathogens. If they don't end up with a shortened life span, is it likely that someone will keep up this pruning regime for the next 300 to 500 years?

I think your friend would have better luck planting a wind break to lift the wind over her pecans.
1 month ago
in paul's bio it says  he wrote a book, but now it's books. It also says rocket stoves instead of rocket mass heaters.

Stephen B. Thomas wrote:[
One last question: what is this? I found it along with a couple others similar to it, in an area where bricks and maybe cob supplies were stored. Anyone with an idea of what this might be used for? The other boots and I were thinking this would be used for carrying mounds of cob, though admittedly the edges of the metal seem a bit sharp (though they may also be cutting implements for cob forms, for example). Any ideas?

Those are log carriers (not for firewood). Someone made those once because we were carrying logs that were just a little too big for the normal log carriers. The hooks just wouldn't dig in well and we kept dropping the logs. No one liked using them (except the person that made them). We ended up using the kind that is basically a stout stick with a rope attached that wraps under the log to be carried. Bear Paw made us one with nicer handles and it is usually in the shop somewhere.
4 months ago
In my experience the skin is astringent even when the fruit is ripe enough to eat with a straw, even the non-astringent varieties. For the persimmons I've worked with, it is important to separate the skin and seeds from the pulp before using.
5 months ago

Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:I love that flowering cactus! I have two different kinds (I think they're all one species ...). One with almost white (very light pink) flowers, blooming November/December (right now), the other bright pink about a month later (buds are starting to come now). I took some cuttings of both, don't know yet if those will grow. I never name them after one of those 'holidays'. They're just Schlumbergera or, in Dutch, 'lidcactus'.

Inge, i like the idea of dropping the holiday names. Turns out, some people call them "link cactus" or "chain cactus". The species can be differentiated by leaf shape and flower shape. Flower color, however, can vary depending on temperature during bud formation, and iron availability. Good luck with your cuttings.
5 months ago
I have been excitedly watching these flower buds grow bigger, but i won't be around to see them bloom. These started out as one or two leaves from other peoples plants. It took a few years, but they are big enough that they decided to bloom.

The first photo is of the thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata). These flower buds did appear a bit before the others. Maybe they will open up first...even though they missed thanksgiving.

The other photos are of a couple of christmas cacti (Schlumbergera russelliana).

I have another one which may be an easter cactus (Schlumbergera gaertneri), but after a mishap, it is just a couple of small leaves and not trying to bloom.

Edit: There's been a lot of name changes to both the genera and species of these plants, and a fair bit of misspelling on the internet. Many plants getting passed around may, in fact, be hybrids. So, without genetic testing, these guesses are as good as i can do.
6 months ago
On my plot i found a couple of trees with the bark scraped off. Not sure if this was deer or elk, but this probably happened when one of the males was scraping the velvet from their antlers. Some trees will recover from the bark injury and some will not.

As i was walking around the lab, every few feet on top of the snow i saw a snowfly. These are wingless flies from the genus Chionea. Very little is known about them. It is believed they walk on the snow surface to find a mate. It is assumed that the adults don't eat, but no one is sure, because they spend much of their time in the subnivean layer (under the snow). They seem to have lost their wings as they use too much energy in the winter (which is when the adults are active).
6 months ago
Made another visit to ZoeLand. This time to scatter some mullein seeds. There were only a couple of mullein growing in or nearby, so i thought i'd bring in some seeds.

The first photo is of the box of mullein seed heads i had collected at the abbey. I'm sure i accidentally planted some of these on the walk over, too.

The second photo is me knocking the mullein against the box to disperse the seed. I quickly decided that the drum-like noise was disturbing the peace of the meadow. I opted instead for knocking the stalks against each other. It worked to spread the seed and was much quieter. The snow over much of ZoeLand was knee deep. I hadn't yet dug my snowshoes out of storage, so i made do. The benefit of the snow was that my tracks showed me very clearly where i had spread seeds and where not.

The third photo is of some small little specks in the snow...mullein seed. Hopefully some will take and there will be more mullein growing here next year.

6 months ago
Here's some photos after that last big snowfall.

The first photo is of a yellow dock seed stalk being weighed down by snow.

The second photo is of some mullein that has caught some snow in its crown.

The third photo is looking towards the teepee gate from the abbey

The fourth photo is of the greenhouse. The snow started to melt off the glass, but i helped it along with a broom so a little more sunshine could get inside.
6 months ago